Saxman: Election Eve — Halloween Edition

There is the ONE locality you need to watch on Election Night. It has been spot on accurate in Virginia statewide elections since 2008. It’s posted below after the videos.


Last night’s Halloween festivities highlighted just how much turnover can occur in America’s suburbs.

For the last seven years we have had a Halloween fire pit in our semi circle driveway here in western Henrico County. Until last year we had seen very slow increases in the number of kids trick or treating.

The tradition has been that our next door neighbors come over to sit around the fire pit, have a few cocktails, give out a small amount of candy, and generally catch up on life. For the first couple of years part of the conversation involved being disappointed that we did receive many trick or treaters.

In order to increase attendance, I upped my game by going to the local ABC Store and loading up on airplane liquor miniatures to fill a basket for adults. While checking out the clerk asked noting the many different minis, “What’s all this for?”

“Halloween for the parents.”

“OH! I am SOO doing this next year.”

The minis plus a cooler full of beer and prosecco were big hits – for the few parents who came by.

“WOW! Prosecco?”

BUT when my post on the neighborhood Facebook group page was seen my some of the moms, a packed SUV came screaming into our driveway. Three doors flew open before the vehicle came to a full stop. I doubt the seat backs and tray tables would have been locked for that landing.

Moms spilled out “WHERE’S THE BOOZE?!”

“I heard there’s wine? Is this true?”


A few more moms walked up briskly and soon we had a full blown post traumatic stress therapy session going.

Minis, beer, and prosecco…






Word spread.

Attendance picked up.

One year we even had a couple of dads pull up with passenger window rolled down, “Hey, this where we go for a beer tonight?”


“Sweet! I’ll be by later…”

COVID blunted the enthusiasm and attendance last year, but we socially distanced things and set out half a dozen tiki torches to compliment the fire pit.

But this year??

Holy guacamole, Batman.

It was like an explosion of elementary school aged kids. We lost count. Almost couldn’t keep up with demand.

I kept looking at our bowl whispering, “No…no…no…not the Butterfingers…I like those. Oh, well…you have good taste…ga’head…”

Our neighborhood is now teeming with elementary school kids – and parents. Lots of parents. Almost all in their mid to upper 30s. Happy to be out. Kids dressed in all manner of costumes. The street was alive with the sound of kids having an awesome Halloween. At the far end of the neighborhood down the hill in a cul-de-sac, there had been a parade of costumes.

The families made the trek up the long grade, “We heard this was the cool house. Are you really giving out minis?”



And then the saw the basket of minis next to the candy bowl.


“Want a beer?”

“YEAH, sure!”

Not only were they all in their 30s, but also very diverse. Like DEI Award level diverse.

And not one person brought up politics.

It was glorious.

The way things used to be. Neighbors getting to know each other, trying to explain which house was theirs, trying to remember new names and faces while having an adult beverage on a perfect fall night.

Not one smart phone. No one was walking around staring at their screens.

These people – and us – were just happy to enjoy the moment.











And then quick as a flash, the street emptied and the families went home to get ready for bed, school, and work.

A few folks straggled by later having heard about treat selection. It wasn’t just the minis and beer. Oh no.

The next door neighbors bring their candy over to give out with ours and they buy REAL candy bars and bags of M&Ms – like the REAL ones. No minis for the kids! (Irony noted)

Why this story?

If you want to have a really fun Halloween and your kids have grown out of that age, consider this a How To Guide.

Politically speaking, Virginia’s suburbs are constantly changing. People come and go all the time. It’s hard for incumbents to stay on top of that churn.

The primary reasons why these families are where they are – jobs, schools, and a safe neighborhood.

Suburbs are diverse with college educated parents.

Suburban people live in subdivisions and as such are subdivided. They really don’t know each other (but long to) owing to their busy lives. The morning school bus stop is a powerful place culturally.

This election will be decided by middle and outer suburban voters settling into a Post Trump/Declining COVID reality along with (or against) the turnout of rural, inner suburban, and urban voters.

Polls indicate a super tight election that could go well into the night tomorrow. Everything on the ground suggest Glenn Youngkin and Republicans will gain ground from previous election losses.

The remaining question is will it be enough to win. Regardless, the trend is in the GOP’s direction and it will be enough to change the trajectory of federal legislation.

Virginia has closed her ten point Biden margin over Trump to a Tie or +/ -1 (Toss Up) for Youngkin. That puts almost FORTY U.S. House Democratic incumbents into the Toss Up category for the mid terms which officially kick at midnight tomorrow.


And sure why not Rick Astley:

And this will all be over At Last

Which locality should you watch on Election Night?


One locality in Virginia is SCARY accurate when it comes to mirroring the outcome of the statewide elections since at least 2008.

Consider these results:

2020 – President Donald Trump v Joe Biden

Locality – Democrat 53.7 Republican 43.8

Virginia – Democrat 54.1 Republican 44

2020 – U.S. Senate Mark Warner v Daniel Gade

Locality – Democrat 56.7 Republican 43.2

Virginia – Democrat 56 Republican 43.9

2018 – U.S. Senate Tim Kaine v Corey Stewart

Locality – Democrat 56.43 Republican 41.01 Third Party 2.38

Virginia – Democrat 57.00 Republican 41.01 Third Party 1.74

2017 Governor Race – Ralph Northam v Ed Gillespie

Locality – Democrat 53.3 Republican 44.9 Third Party 1.7
Virginia – Democrat 53.9 Republican 44.97 Third Party 1.07

2016 President – Hillary Clinton v Donald Trump

Locality – Democrat 47.8 Republican 46.0 Third Parties 6.2
Virginia – Democrat 49.75 Republican 44.43 Third Parties 5.02

2014 U.S. Senate Race – Mark Warner v Ed Gillespie

Locality – Democrat 48.3 Republican 48.8 Third Party 2.81
Virginia – Democrat 49.15 Republican 48.34 Third Party 2.43

2013 Governor Race – Terry McAuliffe v Ken Cuccinelli

Locality – Democrat 47.2 Republican 44.3 Third Party 7.77
Virginia – Democrat 47.8 Republican 45.2 Third Party 6.5

2012 President – Barack Obama v  Mitt Romney

Locality – Democrat 51.1 Republican 47.3 Third Party 1.67
Virginia – Democrat 51.2 Republican 47 Third Party 1.37

2009 – Governor – Bob McDonnell v Creigh Deeds

Locality – Democrat 41.4 Republican 58.5
Virginia – Democrats 41.3 Republican 58.6

2008 President – Barack Obama v John McCain

Locality – Democrat 50.5 Republican 48.4
Virginia – Democrat 52.6 Republican 46.3

2008 U.S. Senate – Mark Warner v Jim Gilmore

Locality – Democrat 64.6 Republican 34.

Virginia – Democrat 65.7 Republican 33.7

So, if you are going guess which locality’s returns on Election Night and you want to be fairly certain of the eventual outcome statewide look no further than…


My hometown!

Home of the Statler Brothers, Wright’s Dairy Rite, Gypsy Hill Park, The American Shakespeare Center, Francis Collins – Director of NIH, President Woodrow Wilson, and Kiwanis Field Hot Dogs.

Not only has Staunton been consistent with picking the winner, but her accuracy over the last NINE state wide elections with the spread and  actual percentage vote for BOTH parties and third parties is…well…amazing.

All you national political pundits and newsies make your way to Staunton and stay in the great bed and breakfasts, eat at the awesome local restaurants, and above all else – pronounce it correctly.

Stan. Ton.

Stan. Ton.


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